Assessments and decision-making underlying the initiation of mate guarding in a common web-building spider, Metellina segmentata, are examined in a series of field and laboratory studies. Adult males do not build webs but wander in search of females and mating opportunities. Adult males then wait at the edge of the webs of females and guard them prior to courtship and mating. Guarded females were heavier, larger and carried more mature eggs than solitary females. An active process of information gathering is apparent from introductions of males to the webs of females. Males make accurate assessments about female quality, even in the absence of the resident female. Cues involving web architecture are not used. Males may assess pheromonal cues on the web of the female in deciding whether to guard or abandon a female.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|